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When Will The Fighting Genre Evolve? |


The formula that defines a fighting game hasn’t changed in over 25 years.  While graphics and physics have made a drastic improvement, players are still limited to the same linear arenas.  Two people pick a character and fight on a 2D plane in a 50 foot circle until a victor is decided. That’s it.

As other genres become more realistic, the fighting genre has stood still. In reality if two people go into a street fight the brawl would move well beyond the initial starting point. Fighters can use a number of things found in the surrounding environment to shift the fight into their favor. For example, picking up sand and throwing it into the opponent’s eye.

There was a fighting game in production by EA Chicago and Marvel that could have pushed the genre to new levels. The game was going to feature fights that could span 2 blocks with destructible environments.

Sadly the Marvel Fighter game never came to be. Imagine playing your favorite Tekken, Soul Caliber, Street Fighter characters in that kind of environment. Not just limited to a city though, but a snow stage, a desert, a forest…the possibilities are endless.

 Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, Naruto: Broken Bond and DBZ Tenkaichi  are only a few games that have move beyond the usual standard for fighters. Unfortunately, I don’t think many major developers will be willing to make serious changes to the genre.

  • Eddie

    Amen…so tired of stale fighters. I use to love Tekken Tag and Soul Calibur.

    We need a Dissidia console style.

  • Mike

    Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution was the last great leap forward in fighting games. Quest mode was revolutionary. Tekken has done a pretty decent job copying it with the more streamlined unlimited arcade mode, but nothing has captured the imitation of traveling to an arcade like VF4 Evo had. Soul Calibur on Dreamcast is still all time favorite of mine but the single player modes in that franchise have become terrible. The tower of lost souls thing in SC IV was awful (why do I want to fight five enemies in a row on the same life bar outside of a survival mode. What arcade experience is this providing?).

    What needs to be done is create a Shenmue style game that is online and lets you travel to various arcade locations to play against people. You would find people to play in particular locations, not based on some broken matchmaking system. Think of it like the game launching for Tekken 6 from Home, but far more elaborate and with many different places go to, each with their own top rivalries, ladders, and tournaments.

    I think if 3D fighters were primarily a western genre (they never will be, this is one genre where anything made outside of Japan is garbage) something like this would have happened by now. Unfortunately Japanese developers have mostly grown stale and complacent this gen. I’m guessing at this point VF and Tekken make more money in Japanese arcades than they do from console sales. Not sure about Soul Calibur… I think SC2 was the last game that had a widespread arcade release.

  • Royalty32

    The answer to that question is NEVER and i say that because there is only so much u can do with a fighting game. There only so much super kicks and super moves that u can make look spectacular. With SF4 kinda bringin back fightin games i see no hope for them in the future. Lets hope the next MK can get this genre bac on track.